Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 86, Raptors 79
Scott Agness | January 7, 2014
Entering Tuesday night’s game, the Pacers had won seven of their last eight. The lone loss came on the road, six days ago, up in Toronto. Forget the weather, and ignore the fact that the Raptors didn’t land in Indianapolis until five and half hours before the game. The Pacers (28-6) weren’t thinking about anything other than avenging that 17-point loss.
The Pacers took the lead midway through the opening period but the Raptors (16-17), who trailed by as many as 17, were resilient late and made an impressive push. Getting as close as six with 92 seconds left, the Pacers escaped with a 86-79 win to improve to a league’s-best 17-1 at home.
Following a rough start, where they committed five fouls, turned the ball over four times and were just 2-of-9 from the floor, the Pacers recovered. An aggressive George Hill got the Pacers back on track. He scored seven straight points and was instrumental on the team’s 16-2 run. The Pacers had their way in the paint, outscoring the Raptors 14-4 in the first period and led, 22-15.
Indiana’s second unit maintained the lead in the second period, where they shot 50 percent. Danny Granger, who continues to improve with each day, played all but 49 seconds in the quarter, and added four points. Lance Stephenson scored seven of his 13 points in the period as the Pacers went into the half ahead by eight.
The Pacers began to build some separation in the second half. Paul George, limited to just 11 points, had a breakaway two-handed flush. Later, Granger scored on a slick pass from Stephenson and Roy Hibbert connected on back-to-back field goals. If not for Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan shooting the lights out in the quarter — he scored his team’s final 17 (of 22) — the Pacers’ lead would’ve been larger than 13 entering the final stanza.
Toronto’s frontcourt contributed little in the game and just four points in the final quarter. 7-foot-2 Hibbert was stellar at both ends, particularly on defense where he blocked three shots and altered a half-dozen more.
It was reserve Patrick Patterson who made it a game again with 11 of their 15 points during a five-minute stretch. Indiana’s George buried a 13-foot jumper, but then Jonas Valanciunas connected on a pair of free throws to trim the Pacers’ lead to six.
They’d miss their final three shots as Indiana, who held Toronto to 37 percent shooting on the night, finished on top for the third game in a row. As the Raptors were on a hot streak, winners in seven of their last 10 games, the win is a quality one over a conference foe.
Inside the Numbers
Roy Hibbert led the Pacers with 22 points, his fifth time with at least 20 this season. He was 12-of-13 at the line, grabbed eight rebounds and rejected three shots. Playing a season-high 32 minutes, Danny Granger scored 13 points and six rebounds, also a season-high. Luis Scola added eight points and nine rebounds — his third game in a row with at least eight caroms.
Lance Stephenson recorded his seventh double-double of the season (13 points, 10 rebounds) and was two rebounds shy of his fourth career triple-double.
DeMar DeRozan dropped a game-high 28 points, including a 10-of-11 mark at the foul line. 17 of his 28 were tallied in the third period. Patrick Patterson, who was acquired in a trade with Sacramento, scored 20 points — one point short of his season-high. DeRozan, Patterson and Kyle Lowry combined for 64 of Toronto’s 79 points (81 percent).
The Pacers controlled the inside game. They outscored the Raptors 40-26 in the paint and had a 53-36 advantage on the glass. Offensive rebounding has been a focus for the Pacers and they limited the Raptors to just five, tying a season-low for an opponent.
Tonight was Indiana’s worst shooting night from downtown, making just 1-of-11 attempts.
When the Pacers last faced the Raptors on Jan. 1, they gave up 17 fast-break points. Tonight, just five.
“That’s a really good win against a team that’s playing as well as anybody in the NBA. … Our guys buckled down and had a great defensive performance.” – Frank Vogel
“We’re just a little bit out of sync, out of rhythm. … I just think it’s one of those points in the season.” – Frank Vogel
“We remembered these guys from a couple of games ago. We let that one get away. Tonight we made a point of protecting our home court.” – David West
“Games are more competitive than they were a couple of weeks ago so there is a little slippage. I guess it’s good that we’re going through this and finding ways to get wins when we aren’t playing well.” – Paul George
“Coach really drilled on us to get every rebound and to not let them leak out and beat us in transition. We made a point defensively to get every rebound, especially early on to set the tone for the game.” – Lance Stephenson
Stat of the Game
The Pacers outscored the Raptors by seven at the free throw line — shooting 21-of-26 — and the margin of victory was seven.
- Ex-Pacer Tyler Hansbrough missed his third straight game due to a sprained left ankle.
- Veteran Rasual Butler had his contract guaranteed for the remainder of the season.
Wednesday, Jan. 8 at Atlanta – 7:30 p.m. EST